We’ve all been there and done that, haven’t we? We’re going along just fine and then all of a sudden it hits us – a creative road block of sorts. For one reason or another, we’re feeling less than inspired and we have absolutely no idea what to do about it.
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For so long, I beat myself up over it. I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t more productive. Why I wasn’t getting more done. After all, I love being creative. When the words just won’t come and I can’t think of any new ideas, I start to doubt myself. I start to question if this is really what I’m supposed to be doing.
How can you love something and yet still struggle with it? Unfortunately, it just happens occasionally and there’s not much we can do about it except work through it. Here are 10 ways to keep yourself going when you’re feeling less than inspired.
- Take a class – This can be a bit of a catch-22 sometimes. Sure, taking a class is great for inspiration if you can actually manage to convince yourself to do the work. If you can’t/won’t, it’s mostly just a waste of money. I’ve signed up for a ridiculous number of classes over the years, but these days I’m a lot more careful to choose ones I’ll actually finish.
- Do some shopping – I’m not sure about you, but shopping is definitely my thing, especially shopping for supplies. Finding an awesome deal makes me totally happy and I’m almost always anxious to get home and spend some time with my brand-spankin’-new stuff.
- Make a kit – I absolutely love making kits. I get a total kick out of picking colors and then shopping my stash. And you know what? It actually works. After you’ve spent some time touching and feeling your supplies, you’re more than likely going to be excited to make something with them.
- Write or draw – Grab a journal or sketchbook and just let yourself go. Don’t think about what you’re doing. Just let your imagination take over. Sometimes, you’ll surprise yourself by what you can create without even thinking about it.
- Challenge yourself – I have a little something I call Journal In A Jar, which is a collection of words related to mixed media & art journaling. Color, textures, etc. Every now and again when I’m at a loss for what to do, I grab a few and get to work.
- Make an inspiration board – I’ve made a variety of inspiration boards over the years. Some have been a collection of paint chips and ephemera I’ve kept on a magnet board and others have of course been created digitally using Pinterest. However you decide to do it, just be sure to save your thoughts and ideas somewhere.
- Get messy – Grab some paint or ink and just spray or splatter it on your page or canvas. Challenge yourself to use that as a jumping-off point and turn it into something awesome. You can totally do it!
- Just start – Grab something, anything, and get to work. It doesn’t matter what. Sit down and force yourself. Set a timer for 15 minutes if you have to. You can train yourself to do just about anything including be creative.
- Color – I’m talking good old-school coloring books and crayons. Or these days, you can even find adult coloring books with beautiful, intricate designs. I’m absolutely loving The Bloom Book by Jamie Lynn Dougherty*. The pages in this coloring book are absolutely gorgeous and you can totally lose yourself in them.
- Take a break – Sometimes, the absolute best thing you can do for your creativity is to just walk away. Contrary to popular belief, you occasionally do need a break. If you’re overwhelmed and nothing else is helping, take a step back and reevaluate your priorities. It really might just be a matter of needing some time to regroup.
More often than not, at least one of the things on this list will be all it takes to get me inspired again. After all, isn’t that how it works when you’re creative? Do you have an awesome idea to keep yourself going when you’re feeling less than inspired? Leave a comment and add to the list.